Getting Clarity for Business Growth
Getting Clarity for Business Growth
Businesses need to have clarity for growth so let’s explore this then in a little bit more detail.
Business success is attracted to clarity, and clarity comes in in a couple of different guises – personal clarity, forward-looking clarity, audience and message clarity.
Personal clarity means being crystal clear on who you are and especially in relation to your market.
You need to be very clear about what you are about and why people should pay attention to you. What are the lines you will you not cross, things that you won’t do.
When you haven’t got clarity you don’t stand for anything in the market.
This could just be because there is nothing differentiating you from everybody else in your space. What this means then is there’s no reason to come to your particular business or buy from your particular shop or go to your website, let alone do business with you. That clarity is just not there because there is the exact opposite of clarity there is fogginess and mystery around who you are and what you stand for and when you get into that place then your business will struggle.
You then need to have clarity around your value decisions. This is interesting, and all of us in business have probably experienced this at some time or another. There will always be occasions when we are tempted when we’re enticed by the chance of a sale to someone who wants to buy our services, and in our rush for the sale, we agree to do things at a price we probably shouldn’t, or we take on things that sensibly we probably shouldn’t. Maybe it’s to the pain in the arse customer who doesn’t pay you as much as everyone else pays you. But then they are the ones who expect more, complain the loudest, but we tolerate them, and that’s because we haven’t got clarity around value decisions – the things you will and won’t do.
Value decisions also hinder business, because a lack of clarity around your value decisions can cause many people to lose control of their business. It comes when you introduce randomness and the disturbance and chaos of pursuing things or opportunities that come along that weren’t properly thought through.
Do you remember when you started your business?
Most business owners when we start, we start with clarity of goal – was it more time with the family, more money, personal satisfaction? There was a clarity of a goal and we embark on our quest and we start to build our business, and then what happens is we get sucked into the day to day and it doesn’t take long for the day to day to take over. When we start from scratch in our business, and we get our first couple of customers, and then more start coming in, and more, and then, before we know what’s happened we are really busy.
Like all the time!
So we spend our working days as day to day operators and that’s a real problem. Because when that’s the place where you spend the bulk of your time, then you get stuck there, stuck in doing the job.
And if you want your business to grow you must get out of just doing the job. You can’t get stuck in the day to day. How often have you caught yourself saying that it’s just quicker to do it myself? But that’s the language of the unpredictable business, not a successful business.
It’s quicker to do it myself, words used by people stuck doing the job, stuck in the day to day.
If you want a better business you must spend some time working on your business, not in your business.
And that is a real value clarity decision.
How are you going to manage your time? How are you going to create the time to grow your business? How are you going to make the decisions about what you can outsource and what you can delegate? Are you going to be a do-er of your thing – and basically just own a job, or are you going to be a marketer of your thing and actually own a business?
Getting forward-looking clarity for your business means where do you want to go? How you can get more customers, more sales, and worry less about where the next customer is coming from – that is forward-looking clarity.
Let me tell you a secret; I’ve never been a big fan of business plans and I’ve never really had a commercial business plan with everything mapped out. I’ve never ever had one of those super detailed ones you need for getting funding or bank loans. I’ve never actually produced what would be considered a commercial business plan.
But, I have always produced budgets and targets.
What I’ve discovered is that the process of sitting down and mapping out what I want to achieve that next year is absolutely necessary. Very rarely do we get to exactly where we set our targets; sometimes we fall short but what happens more often is that we sail through the numbers that we set down. And why is that? It’s the articulation and the capturing on paper, or in an Excel spreadsheet, of what we want to achieve. In other words, the fact we’ve practically produced some forward-looking clarity so we’ve made it really clear – this is what we’re going to do.
As a consequence of this forward-looking clarity, we are able to measure and track what we’re doing; and the whole process of doing it means we’ve got written down goals.
And now, as we end 2020 there’s no better time to start writing down your goals and your targets. Start looking forward at 2021 with all that we know, all the experience that we’ve had. It does make a difference and now is the time to do it.
Find the window between now and your Christmas break to do a little bit of planning to articulate your targets. It could even be back of an envelope stuff, because when you identify, once you know what a couple of the big numbers are in your business, because trust me, there are just a small number of metrics you need to know. Get those right, and hit them, then the rest of the success of the business will fall on the back of it.
The one thing I promise you will happen if you just go off on your Christmas break and relax and unwind (as you deserve to do) without having taken some time to look forward, to articulate with a degree of clarity what you’re seeking to achieve next year, I promise you that you won’t make meaningful strides forward.
Take the time now to establish at a high level at least what you want to achieve next year. What level of sales are going to come into your business? Then from that, you can take the right decisions to build it and make it happen. Having that forward-looking clarity allied to personal clarity as to what you will or won’t do puts you in a very powerful position to increase the success of your business.
Audience and message clarity
Audience clarity is absolutely key to the success of your business. Work out your audience – who are you for and who were you not for?
This can make a big difference.
Look around you and you will notice the most successful businesses are almost always narrowing their focus. They are almost always targeting more specifically the people they are after. They are typically unconcerned about the larger population that are not interested in their product. Business growth can be facilitated by having high specificity of audience, by being for a particular market. Why? It makes you more relevant, and relevance is a really big deal when it comes to getting customers.
So audience clarity – who are you for and, as importantly, who are you not for, makes your marketing way more effective because you can target very specifically. It means your message will resonate with your audience. They will pay attention. It means you will have message clarity. How to get more customers by marketing to the right customer and with the right message.
By far the majority of businesses have no differentiating message at all, their messages just say “we do this” the same as everyone else. There’s no sense of why we are doing this, why we are for you. A lot of that is missing from a lot of businesses. Often, it’s because the business owners themselves have lost sight of it, it’s there, hiding in plain sight, but they’ve forgotten the secret sauce, the thing that makes them different.
If you can identify your secret sauce then all of a sudden the business is now much more attention-worthy and therefore gets more attention – people are hanging around the website longer, people are paying more attention on social media, people are sharing it and as a result the phones are ringing and the order books growing. All because you’ve started to get some clarity on your message.
It’s very hard to get message clarity though if you don’t know who your message is for and that again takes us back to the previous piece on audience clarity.
So personal clarity, forward looking clarity, audience clarity, message clarity these are all things that will affect your business growth and your business success. All of this is wrapped up overall in clarity of purpose, and you either have that or you haven’t. You can’t fudge it, there’s either a reason why you exist or there isn’t.
Jim Rohn said “the major reason for setting goals is to compel you to become the person it takes to achieve them”. That’s a really powerful quote – the major reason for setting out what you want to achieve is to compel you to become the person it takes to achieve it – it’s the person you have to become.
My experience tells me that when you have forward-looking clarity and audience clarity and message clarity it is so much easier to have business growth and success.
You have to be smart enough as the business owner to discern whether the level of clarity that you’ve got in those areas is good enough. Is yours?
If you’d like some help to articulate your clarity, I’m really good at that! Let’s get your business crystal clear for 2021, schedule a call here: Yes please let’s chat!